Disclaimer insert here: I don't own or have ever owned Bleach or High School DxD. Please buy their stuff so they don't go home poor and destitute. Thanks.
All characters belong to their rightful owners, except any OC monsters I make up. As usual an M rating is for future violence, dismemberments, gore, language, very foul language, and of course lemons will be in, but don't expect a ton of them. Again enjoy your time here.
Response to Reviews Corner 3: Please read the AN at the end before writing any reviews. Important information and general ideas for this story are there.
Welcome new or returning readers. For those you know my style you can ignore this but for those you are new to my stories please understand my following statement. I will not respond to PM or reviews that complain about me using Japanese terms in any capacity. It is my personal preference to use them. If this bothers you, I'm sorry but again my choice. I do hope you find a way to enjoy this regardless, if not, again I'm sorry.
Beta and co-creator: Okami Princess
The three adults sitting around the orange-haired youth as he lays unconscious on a futon wait upon the fourth. He has been here for the last three weeks lying here in the shouten owned by the one person who forever changed his life all those years ago. Looking down the boy's father holds back the tears that wanted to fall as he looks down at his son's sleeping form. His baby boy the victor of the worst war that Soul Society had fought in over a thousand years has to be exiled. The purple haired woman standing next to him keeps wiping her tears away as they have kept guard over him until the last person in the room finally announced his preparations are done.
"I'm finished boss, whenever you're ready to start." The corn-braided man spoke with a hint of anger.
"Isshin, I'm sorry but this is our only choice now. You heard what Central Forty Six said." The bucket-hat man spoke with his own anger being suppressed.
"FUCK 'EM KISUKE!" The former Squad Two captain spit out venomously.
Holding his son's hand for the last time before he would be erased, the head of the Kurosaki family stands up and places his hand on his old friend's shoulder. "We have no choice Yoruichi. It's like Kisuke said. They were going to execute him. At least…At least this way he gets to live."
"Isshin you call this living!? We're going to erase his memory forever! Don't you get it? This is the end of your son!" The woman next to him seethes.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT ME TO DO YORUICHI!? KILL HIM FIRST!? I FUCKING HATE THIS AS MUCH AS YOU DO BUT HE GETS TO LIVE! THEY FEAR HIM, FEAR HIM BECAUSE HE NOT ONLY KILLED THAT FUCK BUT DESTROYED THE HŌGYOKU! SOMETHING THAT COULDN'T BE DONE BUT HE DID IT, DID IT WHILE HE WAS…!"
"While he was in his Vasto Lorde form." Kisuke finishes for his friend.
However he left out the most important part. The fact was that Ichigo tore Aizen apart wasn't the problem, it was how it was done, with something not possible. It was only until he spoke to Isshin in private later did he learn the truth of Ichigo's true heritage. A secret that Masaki's family kept even from her. It was only after her death that Isshin was approached by Masaki's grandfather just after the funeral. Kisuke hid his surprise when he finally added everything up and then used it to come up with the last-minute plan to save Ichigo. The plan that they where now going to execute right now.
He was furious as was much of the Gotei Thirteen when they learn that the newly reinstated Central Forty Six wanted Ichigo executed because they feared his power. It wasn't until Kisuke offered them a way out, one that all the Captains agreed with, it was better than the possibility of civil war between the Squads. The plan was complete erasure of Ichigo memory and then to replace them with new ones. Isshin ended the debate when he openly agreed to it in the last Captain's meeting.
Placing his hand on his distraught friend's shoulder, Kisuke gave it a squeeze before he nudges his friend and gives his best friend a look to make her back up. Moving to middle of the boy's body on one side, he looks up to see his comrade take off his glasses and wipe the moisture away as he moves to the opposite side across from him.
Swallowing the desert in his throat, Kisuke finally rasps out his question. "Tessai are you sure?"
"Yeah boss. Let's give him a second chance at a normal life."
"Goodbye my son. I'm sorry none of us were strong enough to save you."
With that the two Kidō masters began to channel their reiatsu into the forbidden kidō with a special seal to wrap the young man's mind in. Soon the light grew bright and as suddenly as it began it was over. The boy was no more.
'I'm sorry Masaki, but I have to give him away to your family now.'
As he wipes his own tears away, he walks out into the night before taking out a piece of paper. Channeling a small amount of reiatsu, he watches as a phone number illuminates on the old piece of parchment. Taking out his cell phone he dials the number and patiently waits until a voice picks up on the other end.
"Hello." He waits for a reply.
"I need you to come to Karakura, it's important."
"It's about Ichigo. I need you to take him." He closes his eyes at the angry voice on the other side.
"It's better if you come here and let me explain. I had to do something."
"Give me a minute before you come."
Walking back into the shouten, Kisuke, Yoruichi and Tessai are still sitting around Ichigo. His face calm as he lies in a kidō induced coma, the one he has been in since the end of the Winter War. Not even his friends know where he has been since Kisuke spirited him away from the battlefield that day. Taking one last look at his son, Isshin speaks one last time into the phone.
Several months later.
Rias Gremory is sitting in her family's sitting room outside of her father's study, while waiting for him to finish an important meeting with a devil from another family. Sitting next to her is her queen, the black-haired Akeno Himejima; both of them were summoned not more than an hour ago by Grayfia Gremory, the family maid. She also goes by two other titles, the Strongest Queen and wife to Sirzech Lucifer, her brother the current Maou Lucifer of the New-Satan faction. Now they are waiting for an audience with her father to find out what is so important for them to be called back home to the family estate in the middle of a school day.
Akeno looks at her friend and her master with an expression bordering on boredom. "Do you think this has to do with your engagement Buchou?"
A flash of anger darts across the crimson-haired heiress of the Gremory Clan face before she answers. "I am not going to marry that womanizing Rizer; I don't care what my father and brother say otherwise. I will marry for love Akeno and that's final."
Smiling softly as she looks at her best friend, Akeno gives her encouragement. "We have at least six to seven years before we are done our schooling Buchou, maybe by then a better solution will present itself to you."
Sighing softly, Rias looks at her friend and whispers to her. "I hope so Akeno. I don't think I could survive being his wife. I…I don't want to marry him even if he is one of the few pure-bloods left. I'd rather marry a human before I marry him."
Before Akeno could console her master, a brief but powerful wave of magic comes from the study of Lord Gremory. Soon after Grayfia opens the door and waves for the two of them to enter. Getting up together, Rias and Akeno walk into the room to finally see what Gremory Clan's current head wants of them. As they walk in, they are treated by a pleasant surprise; sitting next to Lord Gremory is Sirzech Lucifer.
"Brother!" Rias says as she makes her way to give him a hug.
The current leader of the four Satan's smiles as his sister hugs him. "How is my cute little sister doing today?"
"I'm still mad at you and father, brother."
The three adults in the room share a joint grimace at her declaration. Looking at his wife before she can say anything, Sirzech's shakes his head fractionally to keep her from saying anything. The silver-haired maid keeps a neutral look on her face as she gives a responding shake back to him. She then moves to the center of the room and speaks to all of them.
"Rias-sama, Akeno-chan, have a seat please. We have something we wish to discuss with you." She waves to the chairs now arranged two-a-side around a table in the middle of the study.
When everyone has taken a seat, the head maid serves everyone a cup of tea before she goes and stands behind the head of the family and the Maou. At this point, her husband begins the discussion about why his sister and her queen have been called to this emergency meeting.
"Rias, we have been asked an unusual favor from an old family acquaintance of ours, which we would like your help in facilitating for us." Sirzech says without hesitation.
Rias and Akeno look at one another; both find it odd that they would be asked to help in a family matter on such short notice. Rias then looks at her brother and asks. "What can I do for you Lucifer-sama?"
"Now, now sister. No need to be so formal, I'm still your brother first even if…OWWW!" The sudden pinch to his face ends his sentence as the woman standing behind him finishes her punishment.
"You are the Maou of the Devils, as such you must remember your place, even now Sirzech-sama."
Giving his wife a sheepish look, he begins again. "As I was saying Rias, we have been approached by a family acquaintance for a favor. One that normally we would have said no to, but this case is special because of who asked and why."
Rias scrunched her brows together as she first looks at her brother, then her father before looking at the ever stoic maid of the family. Giving her queen a quick look, shows that Akeno is very interested in what the favor could be, so she looks back at her crimson-haired brother and gives a nod of her head.
"Thank you Rias. Now I will tell you what we want you to do for us. As I just said, usually we would have passed on this but the person asking needs our family's help in fulfilling his request. And that is for us to take care of the son of an old family friend. A human."
Master and Queen give each other a look before Rias begins her questioning of her brother. "Why us and why do we need to watch over this human brother?"
Sitting back in his chair, her brother gives a shake of his own head. "This human has recently experienced a serious head injury and lost most of the memories of his life. The only thing he seems to remember is his name and his schooling. Other than that, he has no recollection of his life except for the past few months as he recovered in a hospital in Europe."
"A head injury is very serious brother, I'm not really sure if Akeno or I should be the ones to help this young…"
"His name is Ichigo Shiba, Rias. And yes I think you and Akeno are more than capable for this. The only stipulation is this, he must stay with you for the time being and he will be going to school with you as well."
"A boy?" Akeno asks in disbelief.
Grayfia then speaks. "Yes Akeno-chan, a young man. He is as Sirzech said a member of a human family that served our friend's family a few generations ago. At this point he is the last living descendent of that family, and they hold a special place in the heart of the Devil asking for our help. So do you think you can do this Rias-sama?"
Looking at her sister-in-law to see if there is anything she is hiding and seeing no hint of deception, Rias gives her answer. "Of course we will try and do our best for this human if you so wish Grayfia-san. But father why us exactly? I mean why me and Akeno, wouldn't of any other Clan have been acceptable?"
Her father speaks finally. "No Rias, we are the only ones he would approach in regards to the care of this human. As such we said yes after listening to the story he told us and of course we did ask for and receive proof as such. The young man is all that survives of this family now and our friend would like to make sure he is taken care of. As for his expenses, they will be handled by Grayfia and a monthly allowance will be sent to his account. All we want for you and Akeno-chan to do is allow him to stay with you and to help him get acclimated to Kuoh Academy and the town."
"Then we will do as you ask Father. Is there anything we should know before we meet him?"
The question brings a mixed reaction from the three adults. Rias's father and brother both hold back a chuckle, while Grayfia clicks her tongue in exasperation. Sensing something is being withheld, Akeno dares to ask.
"Is there something the matter Grayfia-sama?"
The silver-eyed woman glares at the two Gremory men as she answers bluntly. "Yes, beware of his manners. They are severely lacking."
"Come now my lovely wife." Sirzech says as he dodges her hand deftly. "He isn't that ill-mannered, just not used to nobility is his problem."
"I beg to differ Sirzech. I watched the same thing you and Lord Gremory did as well. His lack of tact and his utter disdain for his elders and superiors is horrifying. I can only hope your sister and Akeno-chan don't send him to oblivion for his impudence."
Shrugging his shoulders, the Maou looks at his sister and her queen again. "There is one last thing Rias, Akeno-chan. That is he must never see you using your powers, if he does you must not use any magic on him. As I said any more injury or shocks to his brain may cause irreversible damage to him."
"If that should occur, what do you want us to do brother?" Rias says with a small amount of worry.
"You will send me a message and I will take care of it Rias. It is very important that we let this human live as normal a life as possible. I know this will be very hard for you and peerage but I must insist that you try to do your best."
Sighing heavily, Rias asks one last question of her brother. "Is there anything else we should know Oniisama?"
"Yes, he will be arriving at your school tomorrow and his belongings will be delivered to your house then as well Rias. We are counting on you and Akeno to do this for us."
Akeno and Rias both get up and bow to the three elder Devils before Akeno creates a magic circle and transports them back to Kuoh Academy.
Frowning Lord Gremory looks at his son and daughter-in-law. "I'm not sure if they are up to this Sirzech. What happens if they find out who he really is?"
Sirzech looks at his father and responds in a serious manner. "Then we will show them why our enemies fear us and our Power of Destruction Father. We owe this young man and his family for failing in their protection all those years ago. I will not let it happen again."
Akeno is standing at one of the windows in homeroom with Rias as they watch the courtyard full of students going their way to class for the last semester of the year. Watching her crimson-haired friend intently, she notices Rias chewing her bottom lip as she waits for the announcement from the principle. Today they are going to finally meet the human that has the Gremory Clan bending over backwards to help. She sighs as she goes back to staring out the window as well where she sees their first-year member Yuuto Kiba as he walks with a pack of fan girls behind him.
She laughs silently as she watches him do his best to ignore the seven or so girls' right behind him as he makes his way to his own homeroom. She waves when he notices her and Rias standing at the window looking over the first boys ever to come to Kuoh Academy. None have caught her attention, most being intimated by the beautiful teenagers that make up a majority of the school's population. Well the three do promise to offer some entertainment at least, the Three Hentai, as the girls call them already. Hopefully their new roommate will be different than all the other boys and change that.
Soon a familiar presence makes her way to the two girls at the window. Souna Shitori with her black hair and glasses covered violet eyes let them know that it won't be long before Rias has to meet with the new student. Coming to a stop next to the other two devils, Souna quietly speaks to them.
"I saw your new housemate Rias and I must say he is quite the specimen." A blush actually adorns the usually serious class-rep's face.
Rias can't help herself as she whispers back. "Well what does he look like Sōna?"
At hearing her real name, the girl decides to bait her friend some. "I think it would be best for you to see for yourself Rias. Wouldn't want to ruin the surprise your brother and Grayfia-sama have arranged for you and Akeno-chan."
"Ara, ara Souna that's not kind. Holding out like that is very unsporting of you." Akeno says while smirking at the class-rep and future heir of the Sitri Clan.
Still blushing, the hidden devil turns towards her fellow devils and gives them a wink. "All I can say is this. He isn't like anyone I have ever met before Rias, Akeno-chan. He is definitely a man among boys."
Before anyone could speak a word, an announcement is made.
"Rias Gremory report to Principle Yamato's office. Rias Gremory report to Principle Yamato's office."
"Well Buchou I guess that is your cue to meet our housemate. I can't wait to see what he looks like now." Akeno's eyes glinting dangerously.
"Have fun Rias, I'm sure you and Akeno-chan will need it. By the by, if you ever tire of him, let me know. I…WILL…TAKE…HIM…GLADLY."
Both Akeno and Rias can only stare at her as she walks away to join with her own queen, Tsubaki Shinra, at her desk. They see her bend down and whisper into the queen's ear and both begin to giggle as they turn to look back at their friends and rivals. Akeno sighs as she grabs her Master by her shoulders and starts pushing her towards the door.
"It can't be that bad Buchou, let's just do as Sirzech-sama has asked and get this over with. I will take notes while you get this Ichigo. So take your time."
Nodding as she walks out the door, Rias can only wonder if her friend is joking or being serious. She has never seen Sōna ever act the way she just did. If it wasn't logical, she usually had nothing to do with it. As she walks down the hallway towards the principle's office, she has to deal with the many admirers both female and male. Putting on a genuine smile, all she can do is try and feel happy as she walks the hallways. This school and her home in the human world are the only two places she can feel happy and be herself. When she is at home in the underworld, she has to be the Heiress of the Gremory Clan, a fake model of happiness when in the presence of other nobles.
Now that her family has arranged her marriage to Riser Phenex, all she has left is school and a hope that a miracle will occur or else she will have to marry that pig of a man. For a second a frown forms on her face thinking about the first time she met the overbearing man. He was standing with both his sister and his queen at a formal dinner party and she had to watch as he felt up each member of his peerage. It was a few weeks after that first meeting her family informed her that he would be her future husband. No matter what she said to them that night, they wouldn't budge, saying that they had already agreed to the marriage. The only concession she got was that the marriage wouldn't be until after she graduated from University.
Before she knew it, Rias was standing in front of the principle's office in no time. Knocking first and then entering after an older woman's voice told her to come in, Rias doesn't see anyone other than the secretary at her desk. The woman while typing doesn't even look up as she motions for Rias to enter Principle Yamato's office. Knocking before entering the room, she can't see anything of the new student as he sits in a high-back chair opposite of Yamato-sensei desk. Soon that changes as she finally makes her way to the second chair and comes even with it and the other chair's occupant.
She does everything she can to keep from exclaiming as she sets her eyes upon Ichigo Shiba for the first time. The first thing she notices is his bright orange hair that sits on top of a well-defined face. His face is richly defined, not an ounce of fat evident as his chest bulges against the white shirt he is wearing is anything to go by. His jacket is casually laying over one of the arms of the chair he is sitting in. Her next impression comes as he stands to greet her; he seems to tower over her at just over two meters. As he stands she finally gets to see his eyes, his brown orbs searing into her soul, as he gives a small bow in greeting. As she extends her hands, she can't but help but think one thing.
'Oh my God! He's hot!' She winces slightly but suffers the pain of using HIS name.
"Ichigo Shiba." His baritone voice finally snaps her out of her stupor.
"Ah sorry, Rias Gremory." She replies.
The man sitting behind the desk finally speaks to the two teens. "Now I understand Gremory-chan that Shiba-kun will be staying with you and Himejima-chan for the time being. I am aware of his medical condition, so if there is an emergency we have his medical records from your family. Also he will be in all of your classes this year as well. So why don't you escort him to his first class and get him up to speed with our fine school."
"Hai Yamato-sensei. Shiba-kun if you will, follow me please."
After leaving the office, Rias decides she is taking the long way back to class so she can ask her new housemate a few questions.
The male walking next to her glances at her as he walks beside her easily. "Ichigo is fine."
"Okay then Ichigo. I've been told that you are recovering from a head injury." She says as they walk the now deserted halls.
"Yeah, I guess. I don't really remember anything. All I know is that I woke up in an Austrian hospital. I don't even remember how I got there or what I was doing. The only thing I remember was my name and I was a second year in high school. The only other thing is I have a guardian that lives in Japan who came for me as soon as I was well enough to travel. We had to take a train from Austria all the way to the coast of China, and then a private charter took us the rest of the way. Something about the air pressure could cause me to relapse into a coma."
Just as the two pass a window, Rias looks up at her taller companion head and has to yet again suppress her delight towards her new roommate. His orange hair lights up brightly like spun gold as the sun's light filters through his spiky locks. Turning her head forward and hoping he doesn't see the red bleeding into her cheeks, she distracts him with yet another question.
"So Ichigo, are you okay with staying with me for a few months until the doctors clear you?"
The young man looks at his guide and shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly. "It doesn't bother me Gremory-san. It's what my guardian has arranged for me because he can't take care of me himself. His job has him traveling all the time and according to him, your family and his are close. So I guess I'll have to deal with it."
"Tsk, tsk Ichigo. If I have to call you Ichigo then you must call me Rias. I insist." She says while a smile forms on her face.
"Okay then Rias. So is there anything I should be aware of? This is a new school for me, so I'd like to know if there any quirks or social taboos I need to know about."
"Nothing major Ichigo, except that the male to female ratio is very lopsided, this used to be an all-girls private academy up until last year. So there are not many boys who qualified to get in this year."
Ichigo looks down at Rias with a raised eyebrow. "How many boys are there exactly to girls?"
"Oh I guess for every boy there are about thirty girls give or take." She replies with a grin at seeing his face go blank.
Soon they pass the first set of girls as they walk down the opposite of the hall and Ichigo gets a hint of exactly who Rias is to the school.
"Did you see that? Rias-senpai is with a hottie too."
"AWW! Why does she get him?"
"Is his hair really that color or do you think he dyes it?"
Rias wants to laugh as she sees his calm demeanor rapidly gaining a scowl on his face, which she finds looks cute on him oddly. Taking an extra hallway, she leads him away from their class by taking the Northern stairs instead of the Southern set. Gaining an extra few minutes she accidentally passes Yuuto's classroom and sees him stepping just out of his room.
"Ah Buchou, I didn't see you." The young blonde-hair male says.
Both Rias and Ichigo stop as she introduces the older male to the younger one. "Yuuto Kiba this is Ichigo Shiba. Ichigo this is Yuuto."
"How do you do Shiba-senpai?" Yuuto says as he sticks his hand out.
Taking the hand of Yuuto, Ichigo answers honestly. "I am doing as well as I can Yuuto, and Ichigo is fine."
As they release hands, a new face appears behind Yuuto and the others. The brown-hair male goes wide eyed as he sees Rias and Ichigo standing in the hallways. Ichigo shifts to stand in front of Rias as he sees the new male's eyes never go above her chest. An odd feeling takes over Ichigo as he glares at the first year student.
"Hey, her eyes are not on her chest asshole, I suggest you look up more." His tone allows no argument.
"Ah sorry. I'll be on my way then. Sorry." The boy begins to sprint down the hallway, sending a glance over his shoulder as he rounds the corner.
"Yuuto who was that just now?" Rias asks as her eyes follow the boy until he disappears.
Scratching the back of his head, the blonde boy chuckles as he looks down the same hallway the boy ran down. "I think his name is Issei Hyoudou Buchou. He is part of that 'crowd'."
Ichigo however is glaring in the same direction. He shakes his head wondering why that just bothered him; an odd feeling had come over him as he saw the boy leering at the crimson beauty who is escorting him to class. He turns back around and stands there listening to the young woman as she speaks to the other student.
"Well Yuuto, Ichigo and I have to get to class. I'll see you at club after school, okay?"
"Of course Buchou. Nice meeting you Ichigo."
"Yeah same here."
Rias takes Ichigo's arm and once again begins to lead him towards the stairway when she hears a question coming from the taller man.
"Why did he call you Buchou? Are you in a club?" He asks.
"That's because I am the president of the Occult Research Club Ichigo. We search the local towns for ghost stories to see if they are real or not. I was able to get it reinstated my first year here because I have a fascination with them. What about you Ichigo, do you believe in ghosts?"
Shaking his head while walking, he answers. "Nah. Don't believe in the afterlife."
Quirking an eyebrow at that, she smiles at him. "Well maybe you should go with us one time, just to see maybe."
"Sure, if I got nothing better to do, why not."
"Good, you'll have a lot of fun, I guarantee it Ichigo."
Coming to the stairway they begin their ascent up Rias looks again at Ichigo, she wonders why he did what he did so she asks him about it.
"Ichigo, I know we just met but why did you do that to the first year?"
Ichigo stops and looks at Rias with disbelief in his eyes as he talks. "You're kidding right? You didn't see how hard he was staring at your breast just then did you?"
'Wow, I've never had anyone defend me like that except my peerage.'
"Well I get that all the time Ichigo; I guess it doesn't bother me as much any more. But thank you for what you did." Rias says as she gives him a smile.
Grunting before starting back up the stairs, she gets a surprise with his next comment. "If it happens again when I'm around, I'll run them off again Rias."
"My own knight in shining armour then Ichigo, I'm flattered." She giggles as they make it to the top of the stairs.
Soon they are walking down the long hallway and it hits Ichigo as to where their class is. He gives his guide a look and sees her smiling right back at him when he sees their class is right next to a stairway closer to the principle's office. He stands outside shaking his head, while Rias goes in and gives her sensei his paperwork. Soon a female voice asks him to come in after telling the class that they have a new transfer student joining the class. As he walks in, he immediately sees he is the only male in the class, and the only empty seat happens to be by the window right next to Rias.
The teacher hands him a piece of chalk so he can write his name on the blackboard. After he is done he turns around and makes his formal introduction to the class.
"Hello my name is Ichigo Shiba. I hope we get along and we can take care of each other." That is the wrong thing to say he finds out.
"Yeah, you can take care of me all night Ichi-kun."
"Ehmm, Berry-tan you look delicious."
"Even if you dye your hair, I like what you are offering."
Thankfully a voice saves him as Rias suddenly voices her objection. "Ichigo is staying with my family."
Soon a chorus of groans and complaints are heard from the female students. Except three he notices right away. The first is the one sitting directly behind Rias. He sees her black hair is tied back into a simple pony-tail and it reaches almost to her feet. Her violet eyes are slightly lidded as she looks him over from the feeling he gets. Next to her and one seat behind is another black-haired girl wearing a pair of oval-shaped glasses that don't hide her contemplating violet eyes. The last girl is directly next to her in the next row; her square rimmed glasses also don't hide her heterochromatic eyes, one being light brown the other violet like the other two. She also has black hair as do most of the girls in his class have.
"Ichigo please take a seat by Rias and we can continue our lesson." His new homeroom teacher says.
Nodding and then making his way down the last row, he feels almost every set of eyes on him, including his sensei as he catches her watching as he sits down. Internally smirking, he takes out a notebook and a pen and begins to copy the notes from the board. A hand touches his and when he looks over he sees Rias mouth to him.
'Don't let it bother you too much; they'll stay away from you now.' Her smile makes him nod back to her and soon the class picks up and he is lost in his writing.
The lunch bell rings and Ichigo leans back stretching his arms high over his head, not realizing once again he is on display until his crimson-haired shield stands up and puts an immediate end to it with a glare. Once she does that, it will spread that he is off-limits, at least she hopes. Turning back she can see him packing his books away and looking up at her from his seat.
"Ah Rias can you take me to the cafeteria, I didn't have time to stop for a bento."
She grabs his arm and pulls him from his seat as she guides him from the classroom. Right behind them are the three girls he had noticed earlier that had watched him differently than the rest of the class.
"Buchou are you going to introduce us properly?" Akeno asks with a hint of jealousy as she walks behind the two.
"Yes Rias, you should show some proper etiquette with our newest student." Souna says with a smirk.
Stopping in the middle of the hallway, she turns on the three following them and in a very hard voice she replies. "I was going to do so once we got to the cafeteria and allowed him to at least be sitting. But if you insist, Ichigo this is Souna Shitori, Akeno Himejima and Tsubaki Shinra."
"Ah nice to meet you all." Ichigo says as he stands next to the fuming Rias.
"Nice to meet you as well Ichigo-kun, I'm Rias's vice-president for the Occult Club." Akeno chimes in as she extends her hand for him.
Shaking her hand and then shaking Souna and finally Tsubaki's hand, he gives a quick glance at his informal guide to see her eyes narrowing dangerously for some reason. Instinctively he backs up a step and waits for her to blow. He isn't too far off his mark.
"Akeno, keep your hands off him. He is still recovering and I don't think your ideas of fun would be beneficial to him, do you?"
Pouting at that, the secret sadist rebuts. "But Buchou you are already…"
A stare-down begins between the two best friends at that point. Rias wins.
"Fine you can have him for now Buchou, but sooner or later…" Akeno says in a sing-song voice as she walks around Ichigo, sliding a finger down the length of his arm. "I'm your other roommate Ichigo; I hope you and I can become good friends as well."
"Akeno." A now villainous Rias as she voices her objections.
"Ara, ara Buchou don't you think we should get to lunch now?" The smile reminds Ichigo of a shark circling a drowning man.
A sudden jerk on his arm has Ichigo once again moving down the hallway. The mutterings coming from the crimson head of hair next to him and her choice of words even has him trying to stifle his laughter for her imaginative vocabulary. Deciding it would be best to appease his new roommates, he finds that keeping quiet is the best course of action. However his smile becomes a scowl as the passing comments to his current piece of decoration hanging off his arm makes him a fearsome sight. Together the hallway clears a path for the five students all the way to the cafeteria. No one wants to make the scowling red or orange even more pissed than they seem to be already.
As soon as Ichigo enters the cafeteria almost every head swivels towards them to see the number one, two, three and four school idols with the newest male student. Everyone collectively groans when they see him arm and arm with Rias Gremory as they make their way to the lunch line. Soon the talking starts up again and most of the student-body wisely ignores the normally smiling Crimson Princess and her entourage. Glancing down at the food seems to have a positive effect on Ichigo as he sees a lot of Japanese cuisine being served. After eating out of store-bought bentos, he is really happy to see fresh cooked food finally.
Once he fills his plate he follows Rias and Akeno to a window table and sits down to eat.
"Itadakimasu." He says quietly to himself.
The first few minutes are spent in silence as he eats before Akeno picks up her chopsticks and asks her first question. "So Ichigo how is your first day going so far?"
Swallowing first and then he answers. "It's okay I guess, I don't think I'll have a problem catching up it looks like. Most of the subjects are like my old school, if I could remember it at least."
Rias gives him a look before she jumps in with the next question. "So is there anything you need to tell us about your condition other than what your guardian included in his letter to us?"
"Nope, not that I know of. Listen Rias, Akeno don't treat me like an invalid please; I've had enough of that the past few months already. Between the doctors and nurses, I was getting pretty sick of the looks of pity and false words of sympathy from them. So please treat me normally."
"Sorry Ichigo, we didn't mean to. Your guardian left pretty vague instructions but he wanted us to keep you out of any of the clubs that are physical for the time being. Other than that, he didn't leave anything more specific." Rias says to him between bites.
"I see, thanks then for helping out. I really can't tell you anything honestly. The first thing I remember is waking up in a hospital with doctors and nurses speaking a language I didn't know. It took them two days to find a translator for me and then it was two weeks later I found out I was in an accident from my guardian. He told me I had been on holiday and fell off a steep cliff while I was walking a mountain trail. That's all I know from that point, anything before is a blank slate."
Akeno gives a predatory look that Rias knows all-to-well but can't stop her queen. "Well then we will just have to make sure your new memories are…memorable then Ichi-kun." She finishes by licking her straw slowly.
"Akeno, what did I say?" Rias voice once again regaining her earlier venom.
"Buchou I was just saying that he shouldn't have to worry about bad memories when he starts living with us."
Ichigo watches with amusement as the crimson-haired Rias duels with her best friend, the black-haired Akeno, over what is to be deemed proper or not. Soon the argument causes him to break out in a chuckle as they start listing the bad habits each of them have. Then they begin reminding each other of the practical jokes they have played on each other. He almost spits out his tea when one brings up one the oldest and funniest but also messiest jokes. He forgot that plastic wrap and toilet seats don't mix well.
"Ichigo. Ichigo. Hey are you there Ichigo?" Rias is in his face when he realizes he must have zoned out.
Not moving an inch, he looks into her blue-green eyes and finds himself staring deep into them. "Ah sorry Rias, I guess listening to you was helping me feel normal. Sorry."
Sitting back down, Rias keeps her eye on him as he sits there eating. A ghost of a smile forms on his face as he looks between the two girls. She blushes as does her queen when she also sees his smile.
'He is so hot/ I can't wait for tonight.'
Rias stares out the window at the top of the center stairwell, she is watching Ichigo as he walks towards the gate, satchel in hand as he reads a piece of paper. The direction to their house was well written by Yuuto so he wouldn't get lost hopefully, but in case she had Yuuto write all of their phone numbers down on it, just in case. Soon her queen is standing behind her, as is the class-rep, Souna, as well as Tsubaki.
"So Rias what do you think?" Souna says as she joins her rival at the window.
Not blinking or moving, Rias sighs. "I don't know Sōna. He is friendly enough and he isn't having trouble with the school work, but there is just something off with him. I admit he is handsome but there this underlying vibe I'm getting from him. The last thing that bothers me, for someone with a serious head injury, I haven't seen a scar."
"Well tonight you and Akeno-chan will get better answers. I suspect once he is living with you, he'll relax and his true colors will show." The serious-minded woman says.
"I hope he isn't a danger to Koneko-chan, she is very young." Rias says as she watches Ichigo disappear around the wall.
"I would feel sorry for him then. Koneko is very strong; no human should be able to harm her."
"Hopefully he proves himself. I asked him to pick her up from middle school and escort her home. I left a message with the school telling them someone new would be picking her up today."
Sōna then spots Rias's familiar making her way out the gate as well, following discretely behind the young man. She gives a sideways glance at the Clan Heiress with a small amount of respect. At least she has someone watching over him even if she can't be there; someone will be there as back-up for the young neko.
"I'm not a complete fool Sōna." Rias says with a smirk.
"I never said that Rias."
"But you were thinking it."
"Come Tsubaki, we have a student council meeting to attend. Rias, Akeno-chan."
Akeno bows slightly to the two departing teenage women. Turning back to her Master, she speaks up.
"Are you sure of this Rias? I mean we are supposed to watch over him for your brother and father."
Finally leaving the window and heading down the stairwell with Akeno following in her wake, Rias softly speaks. "I have a feeling Akeno that Ichigo Shiba is more than what he appears to be, but I don't think he will harm us. I have this feeling that he is a good person, even for a human he is very nice."
"At least we get to see what he is like when we aren't around." Akeno speaks up.
"It should be interesting to see how he reacts to Koneko."
"I think he will melt just like everyone else."
Ichigo stood scowling as the woman in the front office was lecturing him on his hair. After getting lost twice going to the middle school, he finally made it twenty minutes late only to run into the woman now hovering before him.
"Now young man, as soon as you get home, you will remove that dye and present yourself with your proper hair color next time you pick up Tōjō-chan. Do you understand me?" The demon-looking woman says while tapping her foot impatiently.
His last nerve finally fraying at the five-minute tirade pushes him over the edge. "I'm only going to say this once sensei; this is my real hair color, if you don't believe me how about I show you proof." He slowly begins to reach for the front of his pants.
That shuts the woman up quickly as well as makes her mouth gape. "H...Ho…How dare you say that! You can't do that here, are you some sort of hentai!?"
Smirking, Ichigo decides to push her buttons once last time as he pulls out his wallet. "I'm not the one whose mind is in the gutter sensei. But I think I should report your comment to the staff, I am sure when I tell them what you said it will look negatively on you when I know I meant my ID."
Koneko Tōjō is watching with hidden interest. Rias's familiar had snuck her way into the school once she was sure Ichigo wasn't going to get lost so close to the school; and informed her that her new housemate was on his way. When she first saw him, she couldn't help the blush that formed, her oniisan was indeed handsome. Also despite his appearance he was quite kind to her when he first apologized to her for being late, at least until Hikō-sensei spotted him. Then his kindness evaporated rapidly as she began to speak down to him, his eyes narrowing in anger as she called him a delinquent, questioning him on why he was at the middle school. But once he had enough, she despite being young, knew what his innuendo really meant. She held her humor back, while keeping her innocence face in place as she watches Hikō-sensei sputter her denials out.
"I did no such thing young man. I'll have you…"
"I don't care if you think you are all high and mighty, you accuse me of dying my hair without proof and when I do tell you I have proof, you automatically assume I was going to do something like that. I hope you can explain yourself to your superiors, I'm sure Tōjō-chan will prove an excellent witness against your accusations." Ichigo said while drawing closer to the now flustered Hikō.
Her eyes begin darting between Ichigo and Koneko, who makes the choice easy when she grabs Ichigo's hand and steps behind him, acting if she is hiding. Hikō's eyes get wide as she sees she won't win now that the middle-schooler has chosen to stand with the orange-haired man standing in front of her with accusatory eyes.
"Very well Shiba-san. I will accept your explanation, but if I find out you're lying, I will see that you are punished severely."
"Come on Tōjō-chan, let's get going." He turns and starts to walk away with her still holding his hand.
A few minutes later, they are away from the school when Ichigo lets out a relieved sigh. "Next time Koneko, make sure you wait outside the gates, I don't want to run into the dragon lady again if I can help it."
"Next time, don't be late bakamono." She admonishes him lightly.
Running his hand through his hair, he huffs out irritably back. "Yeah, yeah sorry about that, I got lost a few times. I am new to this place, so give me a break would ya?"
"This time I will oniisan, next time though I won't."
Looking down at the blonde hair girl still holding his hand, he has a flash of a different face.
'Ichi-nii can we go for ice cream?'
'Sure we can…'
Then the name eludes him as he continues to stare at Koneko. She notices his staring which makes her squint. "Are you sure you're not one of those oniisan? I don't want to be holding the hand of a lollicon."
As soon as she says that he just looks at her in utter disbelief. "What makes you think that!?"
"You're staring oniisan."
"Sorry Koneko, it's just that for a second I was on the verge of remembering something." He sighs as they continue down the street. "Déjà vu maybe."
Koneko grips his hand tighter when she hears the longing in his voice; he might act tough, but when he spoke just now, he was filled with loss. "Come on oniisan, we can stop on the way home. I want to get some sweets at the shouten nearby."
She steers the two of down a familiar street not far from the house. Soon she is front of a beautiful traditional building; it's décor from the early Edo period, the sign over head proclaiming the largest selection of sweets from across the world. Ichigo opens the door and lets the younger girl to enter before he follows inside. Spotting a place for their shoes, he kicks his off and grabs a pair of disposable slippers and follows Koneko inside. Watching her, he guesses she comes here a lot when the store's proprietor greets her by name. Deciding he might want something himself, he gets lost down an adjoining aisle. Soon he finds the chocolate aisle and an urge comes over him as he picks out a variety of items.
"Oniisan are you done yet?" Koneko asks when she joins him.
"Yeah, I've never seen this many different kinds of chocolates. I guess you come here a lot?"
Shaking her head as she holds up a full cart of sweets makes Ichigo laugh as he gently grabs the cart and walks up to the counter. Placing his items next to hers, he starts to take out his wallet when the old man behind the counter holds his hand up.
"No need young man, she has a tab here that Gremory-sama pays once a month. Thank you for the thought but there is not need."
"You sure? I don't want to presume." Ichigo gives the man a stare.
"Sorry, Ichigo Shiba."
"Shiba-sama, its okay. We'll just add your purchase as well, so please take care."
"Fine, but it's just Ichigo." He says as he picks up the now packaged goods.
"Well Ichigo, please take care of Koneko. She is one of my best customers."
Looking down, he sees the blonde smiling at the old man. "Thank you Kazuhiro-san."
Holding out a piece of hard candy, he smiles as he speaks to her. "Seems like you got yourself a strong oniisan now Koneko-chan."
Looking up at Ichigo to see him smiling again, she can't help her own smile as she replies back. "I just met him today Kazuhiro-san but he is very nice. Thank you for the candy."
"Don't plan on eating anything else until after dinner Koneko." Ichigo says as he walks towards the door.
"On second thought, maybe not." Koneko says loudly, causing Ichigo to trip over nothing as he sends a glare back at her.
Laughing at the two, he waves them off and watches as they leave the store. Turning to a shadow that begins to morph into Rias's familiar he informs it. "Tell your mistress, they are on their way home."
Bowing the familiar disappears.
Following Koneko, Ichigo realizes they are in a very exclusive neighborhood. Very few houses line the street they are walking down and most of what he can see over the walls or fences shows they are very European looking in style. Soon the young preteen leads Ichigo to a gated house surrounded by a tall brick wall. At the gate, Koneko punches in a security code and soon a smaller gate opens next to the main gate. Shaking his head at the security, he follows behind her and stops dead when the house comes into view.
"What in the world!?" Ichigo blurts out as he sees the three-story house in front of him.
It easily covers a few thousand square feet from what he can see. Not many houses other than the mansions he remembers seeing on his way back to Japan could compare. The front lawn looks lush; the huge water fountain serves as an aeration system as well for the koi pond that stretches along most of the front of the house, giving it a moat like appearance. The front has six Roman columns that are evenly spaced along the high eve that give the house a Pantheon look. Huge windows line the entire first floor and smaller ones line the two higher floors all with lights brightly lit in the middle of each.
Shaking his head, he continues up the stepping-stones until he's next to Koneko, who doesn't make a move. He is about to ask her what she's doing when the door opens and a young woman greets them.
"Welcome home Tōjō-sama, Shiba-sama." The woman wearing a typical black and white maid's uniform.
"Hello Harumi-san." The young neko says as she walks into the genkan. She takes her shoes off and grabs her house slippers and waits for Ichigo.
"Ah, I don't have any house shoes Harumi." He says as he sits down to take his shoes off.
The maid walks up to the wall and pulls out a pair of grey slippers and hands them to Ichigo. "Here you go Shiba-sama, these are yours. Gremory-sama gave us a list of items you will need for your stay. Everything else has already been delivered to your room. I can show you before or after dinner Shiba-sama."
"Ah before dinner is fine. I don't want to try to put away my stuff on a full stomach."
Nodding in agreement, Harumi replies back. "Then please follow me Ichigo-sama."
"Ichigo's fine Harumi."
He watches as her eyes go wide scandalously. "Ichigo-sama that's not allowed. You're a guest of Gremory-sama and as such you are to be treated as your station demands it to be."
"And if I demand to be called just Ichigo, then what Harumi?"
She looks between him and Koneko a few times before she settles back on him. "Is that your wish Ichigo-sama?"
"Yes, just Ichigo."
"As you wish Ichigo. Then if you will, please follow me and I will show you your room now." She steps to the side and motions with her out-stretched arm towards a pair of spiraling staircases.
Following Harumi up the stairway to the second floor, he is soon led to a room two doors down on the right side of the hallway. The maid stops and waits for Ichigo to stop before she opens it for him and gestures him inside. As soon as he does he stops, then stares at his new room in shock.
"Ah, you sure this is mine Harumi?"
Harumi peeks around the corner and looks around before she answers. "Yes Ichigo, this is your room as Gremory-sama stated to me earlier. Is there a problem?"
"No, its just I didn't expect all of this." He gestures to the contents of his room.
In the middle is a king-size bed covered in satin sheets and a heavy quilt. On one side of the room is a large cherry wood desk with a brand-new laptop sitting on top. Next to the desk is a large bookshelf filled with books and spots for his music. On the opposite wall is a new LCD television with a complete entertainment center. Finally he sees his own bath through a open door towards the back of his room.
"I would have been fine with a futon and small sitting desk Harumi."
Harumi bows again to him and offers him an explanation. "Ichigo our instructions were very specific as to what we had to furnish your room. If this displeases you, we can make other arrangements."
"No, I guess if this is what you were told to do, its fine. Thanks Harumi."
Bowing once again the young maid starts to close the door, as she does so she informs him. "Dinner will be at seven Ichigo, do you need us to send someone for you or will you eat in your room?"
"No, I'll be down."
"Wait. Will it be just me and Koneko or will Rias and Akeno be there as well?"
"Gremory-sama and Himejima-sama may attend. It will depend on when they come home from their club activities."
"I see. Thanks Harumi."
As soon as the door closes, Ichigo looks over at the few boxes that hold all of his possessions. Two boxes contain his clothes, the others his few books and his collection of music. Taking his time, he finishes in less than an hour putting his clothes away in the walk-in closet, where he finds twice as many clothes already hanging up or folded-up on shelves. He looks at them and sees that who ever shopped for him got not only his sizes right, but his tastes as well. Soon he is done unpacking all of his boxes and sees he has time for a quick shower. Looking around he finds a pair of sweats and a black t-shirt to change into afterwards.
'I guess this is my new home.'
"Oniisan? Oniisan are you awake?" Koneko asks as she slowly opens the door to Ichigo's room. Stepping inside, she sees him on his bed sleeping, a pair of earbuds hanging out.
Walking up to his sleeping form, she decides to wake him the quickest way possible. She jumps on his bed, landing right next to him. In an instant she regrets her decision as he grabs her around her waist and flips her to her back with him hovering over her. His eyes glazed over slightly as he stares down at her. After a few seconds, his eyes return to normal and a look of fear appears on his face.
"Koneko are you okay? I didn't know it was you, I'm so sorry." He jumps off of her and falls of to the side of his bed in his hurry to get away.
'Fast.' It's all she can think as she slowly gets up and looks down at him on the floor.
"I'm sorry oniisan, I shouldn't have done that."
"Are you sure you're okay Koneko."
"Yes, I'm fine oniisan. I just wanted to wake you up for dinner. Harumi-san tried earlier but you didn't answer, so she thought you might be asleep. She was correct."
"Sorry, I must have been more tired than I thought. Again I'm sorry for that Koneko."
She gives him a blank stare before she climbs off his bed and walks over him on her way to the door. "Come on oniisan, Buchou and Akeno-chan are waiting for us downstairs."
Slowly getting up to his feet, he looks at the emotionless little girl with a hint of guilt. As he starts to follow her voice intercepts his thoughts.
"Oniisan, don't worry so much about what happened just now, I'm fine."
Ichigo cracks a smile then. "As long as you're sure Koneko."
"I'm sure oniisan." She walks away, her smile hidden from him.
Rias and Akeno are sitting at the dinner table, waiting for both Koneko and Ichigo to arrive for dinner. Both of them were looking forward to dinner finally after a long night of contract requests. Soon the sounds of two sets of footsteps make their way to the dining room, announcing the arrival of the two other housemates. Koneko arrives first, with Ichigo just behind her. Koneko sits down next to Akeno, while Rias pats the seat next to her for Ichigo.
"Good evening Rias-sama, Akeno-chan." The young neko says as she sits.
"Hey Rias, Akeno."
Akeno smiles as the two sit down. "Hello Koneko-chan, hello Ic..hi..kun…" As she does so, her eyes become half-lidded and a seductive smile forms.
As Ichigo stares at the dark-haired girl, he feels the air stir as the woman next to him makes her displeasure known again. "AAKKEENNOO! What have I said about that!?"
"But Buchou I didn't do anything…yet."
"That is what I'm worried about Akeno. I won't have you acting in such a manner. He just got here today and needs time to recover. So as of today, you will keep your mitts off of him. Understand?"
Placing a hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles, the sadistic Queen agrees. "Fufufu, I understand Buchou. You want Ichi-kun all to yourself."
Ichigo only looks between the two feuding teens and turns his attentions to the youngest member. "Is it always like this Koneko?"
"Only when a man is involved oniisan. You are that man now." She says as she waits for dinner.
"Hey!/ Hey!" Two voices objecting together.
Ichigo can only laugh at the two women he now lives with. They both turn their attentions towards him and a questioning look is sent his way from the crimson princess.
"Sorry Rias, Akeno but it's been awhile since people acted normal around me."
"I see." Rias replies coolly.
Akeno takes the opening given to her. "Well Ichi-kun, if you want I can show you around town later."
"Ah, thanks Akeno, I'd like that." Ichigo says while keeping an eye on the woman next to him.
A smile forms on her face as she turns to her queen and again makes her anger known again. "Akeno, a word with you in private if you don't mind."
Getting up the two other women leave the room. Ichigo looks at Koneko, who sits unfazed by the situation. She glances at him and shrugs her shoulders. The two sit silently as they wait for the staff to begin serving dinner. Just as the first trays are brought in, the two women return from the other room, each looking a little worse for wear. Ichigo shoots the neko a look in question. She again shrugs.
'Well Amyntas, you certainly picked a lively group for me to live with, you old goat.'
Soon the other two sit back down and act as if nothing even happened. Rias and Akeno were both sending playful glares at one another across the table, while Koneko eats as if nothing is amiss. Ichigo however was just enjoying himself, between the antics of his two housemates and the quiet little girl across from him, he felt only one thing. Normal.
"Ichigo how was your first day?" Rias ask between bites.
Sipping some tea first, he answers truthfully. "Well to be honest, I was getting a little annoyed by the fan-girls. You think they never saw a guy before or something."
"That's because most haven't been to school with any male other than family Ichi-kun. This is the first year of integration between boys and girls at Kuoh Academy. You are even more special because all the other boys are only first years. You're a….anomaly." Akeno says as she puts rice on Koneko's plate.
"Oh, I guess that is why I found my shoe locker stuff then. Anyway you two can spread the word I'm not interested in dating right now, you know the memory thing could be a bitch later on if I find out I'm engaged or something." He can't hide his smirk at seeing the shocked looks that show on both the older girls faces.
"Ichigo are you engaged?" Rias asks breathlessly.
Shrugging his shoulders like his little kohai he begins. "Don't know. I wouldn't put past my guardian to do something like that to me. He is pretty old-fashioned about things like that. Something about continuing the family line or something like that. I guess since I'm the last of my family, he's afraid of it dying out. Only thing is, if I do marry, it will be for love."
Rias can only look at her plate with jealousy. She wants what he has, a choice. A hand touches her leg under the table making her look up to see her queen giving her a look of hopefulness. Nodding her head back to her queen, she slowly begins to eat again when Koneko asks a surprising question.
"Oniisan, did you really have proof? Or did you bluff her?"
"Bluff? Proof? What are you talking about Koneko-chan?" The black-haired girl says while looking at the young neko with faked curiosity.
"Oniisan was late today and the dragon lady yelled at him. Called him a delinquent and accused him of dyeing his hair. He said he had proof but what ever he did made her get really angry at him."
Ichigo shoots the young blonde an accusatory look, before turning to see a look on his new roommate's face. "I was late and I ran into this teacher, who got on my nerves, so I…I…"
"You what Ichigo?" Rias asks.
"He pulled his wallet out of his front pocket and she got mad at him."
This made both the crimson and black-haired girl choke on their food then. Akeno smiles her seductive way once again. Rias has a look of amusement dancing across hers. Ichigo closes his eyes as he grimaces.
"Look I was late and she just started on me and I lost my patience with her, so I did something to throw her off and she DID take it the wrong way. It's not my fault!"
Rias lays her hand on his and immediately feels flushed, while it looks rough, she felt a 'warmth' flowing through it. She takes a calming breath that neither Akeno nor Koneko miss.
"I'm not that I'm mad Ichigo, just surprised you would do something like that."
He snorts then. "Good for a second I thought you would yell at me and it's only my first day here. But to be honest it just came to me to do it. I'm sorry if I'm going to get Koneko in trouble, if she does I'll take the blame."
"I think it will be okay Ichigo. If anything does come of it, I'll let my father handle it. But I see you and Koneko are fine and that's all that matters. So can I ask if you will be able to walk her to school then from now on?"
The neko whispers softly then. "I'd like that oniisan."
"I don't see why not. Anything to help repay you for your family's kindness for letting me stay here Rias."
The heiress then gives him a smile that makes his heart skip a beat. 'What was that?'
The rest of dinner was spent on getting Ichigo caught up with school work and talking about the local attractions of the town. Soon he had two tours lined up, one with Akeno tomorrow after school and the second with Rias on Sunday coming. Soon they all said their good-nights so they could finish their own home-work and get ready for the next day. Ichigo however had an itch and decided to take a walk. After putting on a pair of sneakers, he grabs his headphones and iPod putting them in the pocket of his light jacket. Walking out the front gate, he picked a direction and took off for a long night run.
Following behind him where several chibi demons belonging to Akeno, each tasked with different jobs as they followed the orange head as he started to eat the miles under his feet.
Akeno and Rias watched him remotely as he made his way around the neighborhood.
"Why do you think he is running so late Buchou?"
"His guardian said he likes the nights more since his accident. It seems he has been active at night for the last year or so before his accident."
"I wonder whose Clan his family served. It must be a very powerful one for your brother and father to take such measure to insure his well-being. This house being one of the few things I never would have thought we'd ever need."
"Mother said to keep him close to us, that he is a special person. She said she met someone who knew him before his accident. All the woman would say is this. 'He who protects' has never meant more to anyone than it does to him."
"Then why is he here Buchou? Why isn't he living where ever it is he came from?"
Closing her eyes, Rias could only answer what she knew. "His past has an end Akeno. All I know is that what ever happened to him had to have been very traumatic for him. All the woman asked was that he be kept safe at all costs."
"Then we shall attempt to make sure we keep our promise then Buchou." Akeno said as her chibi began to report back in.
Music pumping through his headphones, Ichigo let the night surround him effortlessly, his legs carrying him along the miles without notice. He was lost in thought as he paid little attention to his surroundings, just concentrating on trying to remember his past like he did every time he ran. All he had of his memories was waking up in the hospital, his guardian coming for him not long after. Spending a month in the hospital and making it hard on the staff that did their best to keep him confined to a bed. He had a feeling his head injury was more than a simple fall but no matter what he did, nothing helped.
That was until he started running one night a little more than two weeks ago. Then all he felt was a familiar peace as he ran under the moon and stars, as if he had nothing to fear of the night. Since then, he made an effort to run at least five to seven miles a night regardless of the weather. If it brought him a sense of peace, then he would run. Tonight however was different, after giving up on trying to remember, he began to think about his new roommates. His guardian told them they were the children of clients he had served for a number of years and they had agreed that a man in the house would make them feel better that their kids were living alone.
That he did find strange but kept his opinion to himself, even after meeting the older brother of Rias a few days ago in Kyoto. His guardian Amyntas had arranged the meeting so that he could make a good impression on the other man. Not that it went well as he thought back. Ichigo had been up most of the night wandering around the ancient city and had not bothered to take his phone with him. When he got back to his hotel room, the grey-haired man with his piercing black eyes was upset with him. Not wanting to argue that he was feeling cooped-up, he simply went to bed, where he tossed all night, images kept flashing through his head. None of them had made any sense to him. The only one that kept reoccurring was the silhouettes of three people. He had no idea who they were but he knew they had to be important.
Soon he stops at an intersection and palms his face.
'Dammit, I'm lost…again.'
"Sir, can I help you?" Ichigo turns to see a very attractive woman holding what looks like a bunch of flyers standing nearby.
Running his hand through his hair, he looks around nervously before he asks. "You wouldn't happen to know where Kōbi Street is by chance?"
Giving him a smile, she points down a side street. "Follow that for a few blocks and you will be on Kōbi Street in no time."
Soon he his jogging his way down the alleyway, cutting across the blocks as he get closer to his destination, he was soon at dead sprint, making it back to the house before ten pm. Wiping the sweat from his eyes, he makes his to the gate when he stops and groans.
"Dammit, I forgot to ask how the hell to get back in."
He begins to look around the smaller gate until he finds what looks to be an intercom system. Pushing the green talk button, he waits until a familiar voice speaks to him. "Ichigo is that you?"
"Ah, yeah. I forgot to ask for the code to get back in, sorry if I woke you." He says with a bit of embarrassment.
"Enter four six three nine two nine Ichigo." He detects a bit of laughter in her voice at the end.
After punching in the code, the sound of the lock disengaging greets his ears. Pushing the gate open and making sure it's locked, he makes his way back to the house where a sight greets him, one he isn't ready for. Standing in the doorway is Rias wearing a simple red yukata and from the looks of it nothing else. He can also see she is eyeing as he walks closer to her, her eyes traveling up and down his sweating form and he stumbles the last part when he could have sworn she was licking her lips.
Cautiously he approaches her. "Rias?"
She simply opens the door wider for him to pass by her, as he does she whispers to him. "You should take a bath Ichigo; you look like you need one."
Keeping his eyes off of the red-head beauty behind him, he kicks of his shoes and starts to make his way back into the house when her voice reaches him. "Ichigo, will this be a common occurrence?"
"Sorry Rias, I like to run at night. I don't have to if it makes you guys uncomfortable me being out late."
"No. I just want to make sure the staff knows from now on, that's all."
"Sorry, I should have told you guys earlier. I didn't think about it because I've been mostly on my own. Usually no one is around to keep tabs on me, so I'm not used to others wondering about my whereabouts."
"Just be careful Ichigo. Before you argue, this isn't about your condition or your guardian's wishes. It's this town. It changes people Ichigo."
"How so?" He asks.
Her face doesn't betray any emotions as she makes her way to stand in front of him. Cupping his cheek with one hand, she gives him a small smile. "Kuoh Academy caters to very rich and influential families Ichigo; I don't want to see you get mixed up with any of it."
Placing his hand over hers, he gives her a grin that makes her eyes sparkle at the sight. "Then you don't have to worry Rias. I like peace and quiet. Hopefully you, Akeno and Koneko will help keep me out of trouble from now on."
"We should get to bed then Ichigo. You have to get up early to walk Koneko to school from now on."
"Rias, I didn't ask this earlier but is Koneko a member of your family?"
Shaking her head sadly, Rias keeps her eyes on his. "No Ichigo, she has no one left, like you she is alone in this world. Her only living relative left her to my family to care for her after she got into some legal troubles. No one has seen her in over five years."
"I see then. Well good night Rias." He finally removes his hands from hers and a nagging feeling hits him.
"Good night Ichigo. Sleep well." She takes her hand away as well, immediately she wishes she didn't.
Opening the door, he steps backwards as he does so, he is slightly surprised when she turns to the door opposite of his and she enters. She closes it without turning. He sighs as it closes.
'What is with me? I've only just met her today and I feel…'
The morning sunlight breaks through the window and falls onto the face of the young man causing him to mutter in complaint against the gods for waking him. He goes to shift in his bed, when an unfamiliar weight is holding him tight, wrapping itself around his torso. Slowly opening his eyes, a head of crimson hair greets his blurry vision.
'Wait? Why the…Rias!'
"Rias." He gently pokes her ribs where he discovers something new. She's naked.
"RIAS." He shifts a bit violently to nudge her awake.
"Five minutes Ichigo." She whines.
"Rias Gremory!" He shouts.
A very annoyed Rias lifts her naked body off of his, much to his amusement at seeing her pouting face. She shifts so she is now sitting next to his body, completely exposing herself to him. Soon a blanket covers her body as she looks to see his eyes looking into hers, a slight blush dancing across his cheeks as he does so.
"Rias, why are you in my bed? Naked?" He says as he sits next to her.
"Couldn't sleep. I…I just wanted a hugging pillow, so I found one last night." She says with a smile forming on her lips. "I must say, you are perfect for it."
Pinching his nose, he calmly admonishes her. "Next time wear clothes. I wouldn't want your family to walk in on us like that."
"That was easy. You like having girls sleep naked with you Ichigo?" She sees him blushing even harder.
"Well not really Rias, but to answer your question, I was told to expect your unusual…well let's just say I was told of your habits by your brother."
"He did, did he now?" A smile forms on her face.
'If brother told him, does this mean?' She looks at Ichigo.
He sees a look on Rias face that if he had to guess was pure happiness and hope. "Rias, are you okay?"
Pulling the sheet around her, she stands from his bed and makes her way to his bathroom; throwing a look over her shoulder she asks him a question. "Ichigo can you wash my back for me please? Shared baths are still common right?"
Not saying a word, he follows behind the crimson-haired teen and closes the door behind him.
Ichigo sat in class staring out the window, his mind going over the events from his impromptu bath with Rias this morning.
'Ichigo, thank you.' She said with sadness in her voice.
"Are you okay Rias? I didn't do anything wrong did I?' He asked as he finished rinsing the rest of the soap off her back.
"No Ichigo. Just thank you for making me feel normal for once as well.' She replied while pulling the towel around her.
She stood while keeping the towel tightly wrapped around her body. She bent down slowly before kissing his cheek and walked away without a word. He just sat on the stool, still in his sweats thinking he had done something wrong still. Looking at the door she just left through, he was half-tempted to follow her to make sure she was alright. Frowning instead, he began to get undressed for his own bath all the while thinking about the woman who just left him, more importantly why after less than a day she was treating him so…
"Ichigo the lunch bell sounded, are you coming?" He slowly turns his head to see Akeno bending down next to him.
Just nodding, he stood and saw it was only him and Akeno today. Giving her a quizzical look, Akeno shook her head in understanding. "She had a private matter to attend too Ichigo, she'll meet us at home later tonight. Come on and keep me company at least. I'll tell you about our date today after school, you'll have fun I promise."
As they exit the room, she loops his arm through hers, a smile playing on her lips at all the faces that look at the two with stunned expressions showing. He shakes his head in amusement, he knows what she's doing, a little ammunition for her to use at dinner. He learned pretty quickly that Akeno, while being Rias's best friend, took every opportunity to tease her at any given moment, this being such an occurrence for later. Soon they enter the cafeteria and after getting lunch, she guides him to an empty table near the windows.
"Ichigo, did you have a good night?" She says innocently after they sit down.
Not rising to her bait, he smirks internally. "Best I've had in awhile Akeno. I wouldn't mind waking up like that everyday."
"I knew it. She snuck in last night didn't she? Don't answer I know already." She answers.
"Smart-ass. So are there any other habits I should know about the three ladies I am living with?" He says as he chews on a piece of fish.
"Do you really want to know or would you rather we just surprise you Ichi-kun?" She says as she slowly licks her straw again.
Laughing as he scowls at her, she pipes up. "Nothing serious Ichigo, we tend to come home late at night because of club, we can be pretty moody from time to time, and we love to have fun at each others expense. That about covers it I think."
"You're not going to sneak into my room are you Akeno?" He says as he begins to eat again.
"Maybe when Rias isn't home Ichigo."
He snorts at her honesty. "I guess I'll just have to lock myself in at night."
"Awww Ichi-kun don't be like that. It's not fair you only let Rias sleep with you." He can only gape at her words.
"It wasn't like that, we didn't sleep with each other nut-job; she only used me for a damn pillow." He exasperates at her.
The Queen of the Gremory peerage hides her laughter. "Ichigo, you are wound way to tight, something I plan to loosen up today on our date by the way. So you best be ready for me Ichi-kun."
"That's what I'm afraid of Akeno." Her small laughter however makes him smile.
"Akeno, how are you and Rias friends by the way? If you don't mind me asking that is?"
He sees her face falter for an imagined second, but the brilliance of her smile is back before he knows it. The faraway look however doesn't fade as she recites her own story.
"My mother died when I was young, she was a well-respected miko for our clan until she met my father." Ichigo tenses when she says that. "She died in front on my eyes by some criminals looking to steal from us. My father didn't show up until later and then left me again in the care of my relatives." She snorts again in disgust.
"However that didn't work out to well as they didn't see me as one of them because my father was a foreigner so I was kicked out when I was ten." She doesn't see the look of anger cross Ichigo's face. "So for about a year and half I just wandered Japan until I ran into my clan again, but I did something they felt 'dishonored' them, so they tried to hurt me. Thankfully I was found in time by the Gremory Clan and was taken in by them. Ever since then I have served the Clan and over time I became Rias's best friend. I think if that didn't happen Ichigo, I would have died before I was thirteen, so I have little regrets about my life now."
"So you and Rias have been friends for awhile? Is there anything I should be aware of then, she seemed sad this morning after our bath. Distant." Ichigo comments.
"Nothing at the moment Ichigo, but…"
"But, what Akeno?"
"Just be a friend if you can Ichigo. Treat her like a normal average school girl. I think she tires of being the future head of her Clan, so if there is one thing you can do for her, it's to make her feel normal."
Chuckling out loud as he responds back. "Kinda of hard to treat someone normal when they sneak into your room and use you as a pillow Akeno. And naked on top of that."
"Fufufu Ichigo, I thought someone your age would give anything to see a naked girl in his bed?" She sees him blush lightly.
Sighing as he looks out the window, he speaks distantly. "I don't mind Akeno, but I don't want to fall in love and then find out there is someone out there looking for me already. I know what my guardian said but what if I had things I didn't tell him about or a life I kept to myself you know. I just don't want to hurt her or anyone else."
Akeno looks out the window as well. "You are one of kind aren't you Ichi-kun? Less than a day and you already treat us better than most of the men we know. If for some reason you do fall for her, don't let go. No matter what, don't let go."
"Oniisan, are you okay?" Koneko says as she fans Ichigo who is lying on the couch, his face red and sweaty.
"I hate shopping Koneko. I will never, ever do that again." He says while holding a cold towel to his head.
Standing behind the couch are the two older women, Rias giving Akeno dirty looks at her and the assorted bags lining the hallway leading to the living room. "Really Akeno? How many bags are there?"
Looking back at the pile, she silently counts them before she answers. "Only eight bags Buchou, he said he could handle it, right Ichi-kun?"
A hand with a thumbs-up plays before their eyes with an accompanying moan follows. Rias shakes her head again at the two, they had come home less than an hour ago and he was still on the couch. Koneko being the one to take care of him since his arrival after staggering into the house with all the bags he was carrying. Dropping them in their current position, he just made his way to the couch where he collapsed and hasn't moved since. She eyes her Queen questioningly and cringes as she sees the twinkle in the sadist's eyes as she looks down at the young man.
"Akeno exactly where did you two shop?"
Putting a finger to her cheek and acting as if she was thinking deeply, she replies with a grin. "At the new shops that just opened about four blocks away from the Academy, why?"
A tick forms over the heiress's left eye as she knows exactly what shops are located there, all of them catering to women and young girls. She also knows that Akeno frequents that place to find new contracts as well, the men always lowering their guard around a pretty face and seductive smile. She has both.
"You didn't do anything right?" A visible upset Rias asks.
A predatory gleam answers her. "Of course not Buchou, not with my handsome escort holding on to my arm like he did at lunch. No one would dare approach me and my…"
Ichigo groans at the shout, his head pounding not because of the walk or from the bags he had to carry, no he is in pain at the memories of the shops she had taken him into. The worse part was of the private showings Akeno had subjected him to. He had no idea that panties could be so, so, so sheer. The one memory had his face heating up again as he could see she had no modesty when it came to him. Just like Rias he learned, she didn't mind being nude in front of him.
"Oniisan your face is getting redder, do you need an icepack?" The youngest asks.
"God yes Koneko, an ice pack would be great thank you." He tries to stop the blood from rushing to his groin.
'Sirzech you bastard, you never said anything about their total lack of modesty.' He thinks back to the meeting with Rias's brother.
'Ah Ichigo-san. I am Sirzech Gremory, nice to meet you finally. Your guardian has told me about you extensively.'
Ichigo walks into his guardian's room and sees both him and the man standing up with his hand out. As he approaches Sirzech, he looks to see he looks young for someone in his mid to late thirties. His crimson hair and blue-green eyes stand out as much as his orange hair does. He might look like a dandy but Ichigo for some reason could feel that wasn't the case, the man standing in front of him was strong. The grip of his handshake only confirmed it for him, strong and firm. However the smile was genuine and warm and Ichigo felt at ease almost instantly.
'Sorry for being late Sirzech-san, I was up late and didn't set my alarm clock. Sorry about that.'
'Don't worry about it Ichigo-san, is that fine with you?'
'Ichigo is fine with me.'
'Then just call me Sirzech then.'
The two newly introduced men sit in empty chairs, while the third person in the room watches the interactions of his charge and the person who is going to place him with.
'Ichigo, Sirzech is going to take care of you from now on. I'm sorry but because of my businesses I can't.'
'Not a problem Uncle Amyntas. I know you are busy and I'm not exactly happy with traveling a lot, so I'll be fine.'
Ichigo saw a look of hurt on his guardian's face. 'Uncle?'
'Sorry Ichigo, I know this is hard on you now, your memory lost and being alone except for me as your family. I wish I could stay but I have too many people depending on me, but I will visit as often as I can, I promise.'
'Don't worry about me Uncle, I'll be fine. But I do have a few questions though if you don't mind Sirzech?'
The man nodded his head. 'Okay I guess first question is where exactly am I going to be living now?'
'With my cute sister and her friends Ichigo. Also you will be going to the same school as them, Kuoh Academy.'
'Kuoh Academy, if I remember I know that is some sort of private all-girls school. How am I going to go, dressed as a girl?' He looks at crimson-haired man as if he is mad.
Laughter erupts from the two older men. 'No, no Ichigo. It's the first year that males are allowed to enter as first years. So you won't be alone. However I must warn you about Rias and Akeno though.'
'Warn me about what?'
The two men share a knowing look between them. Amyntas has a smile as he grins at his young nephew. Sirzech stifles a small laugh as he looks at the man he is going to send to his sister to watch over.
'They are very close to their friends Ichigo. So they have developed unusual habits that I don't want you be too surprised about.'
'Unusual habits, like what?'
'Just keep an open mind Ichigo; I'm sure you will get used to them. I promise nothing bad, but unusual.'
Muttering quietly he sighs when Koneko places an icepack on his head. "Unusual my ass."
Rias and Akeno both heard him and begin giggling. Both knew exactly what he was talking about, her brother had told them of the meeting with him shortly after it had taken place. Akeno and Rias then left Koneko in charge of 'curing' Ichigo of his headache as they grab the bags to put them away. Walking by him however Akeno couldn't help but ask him if he could help them.
"Ichi-kun you wouldn't mind helping me put my stuff away would you? This way you know where it is for later."
"Go away succubus." His head began to hurt even more at the thought of the clothes he had seen her in.
"Oh I see, you would rather a sex demon, you naughty boy Ichi-kun." Again they giggle as he sputters out at them.
"Go, for the love of all that is holy, Go!" He shouts as he points to them to leave.
The two left him on the couch, their giggles following them as they made their way out the room.
"Oniisan I'll get you some tea." Koneko says as she walks away.
Waiting a few seconds, he peeks to see if the girl is still there before he takes the icepack from his head and places it on his groin.
'They'll be the death of me yet.'
Dinner was served an hour later and as before Ichigo dresses for a late night run afterwards. This time he takes his phone and plots a course in it so he doesn't get lost like he did the night before. As like the other night, he finds himself lost in both the run and the music playing in his ears as he runs through the town. Never noticing the chibi demons following close behind him as he makes his way through his seven mile run. During the time he is running his thoughts go back to his lost memories. Last night his dreams where the same but at the end something different had occurred, the last part were a figure had reached for him. He knew this person in his gut, just like the three figures of a man and two girls; he knew they were important to him. But no matter how hard he tried, he could not remember who they were.
Since his accident all he could remember was his name and his years of knowledge, other than that nothing else surfaced. Until he was dreaming, then the images came to him. He knew they were his but he couldn't grasp what or who they were. The other feeling he felt the most was that of betrayal. Stopping in a park, he walks to a fountain and sits down as that thought overwhelms him. He frowns as he sits there thinking about that feeling. As far he knew, his uncle had said he had lived a normal life.
A normal life that he has no recollection of, no matter how hard he tried to remember it. Home schooled up until high school, he had been a student of an all-boys school until his accident his uncle said. But not wanting to leave him there, he had been brought back home to Japan to stay with his uncle's business associate's family. He didn't mind that his uncle was leaving him here, and the girls were nice, if a little…
He shakes his head in amusement then. They had no problem with him living there and they had quickly made him feel normal, not an invalid thankfully. Rias was the head of the family dynamic of the three, he noticed rather quickly. Akeno he thought of as her lieutenant and Koneko was the little sister to both. Yuuto he learned was also a close member to the three, not only as a member of the Occult Club but close to the Gremory Clan as well. Again he smiles that he too had been an orphan until Rias's family took him in and make him a part of the family.
He sits back on the edge of the fountain and looks up at the sky, the moon drawing his attention quickly. Again a feeling of déjà vu comes to him as he looks at the celestial body hanging in the night sky, its white radiance bringing peace to his troubled spirit. He closes his eyes and sits there until his phone vibrates suddenly. Looking down he sees he has a text message.
'Ichigo pickup some chocolate from the shouten, he has it ready.'
Snorting as he looks at the message, he replies back that he will and enters the destination into his phone. Seeing it will only add an extra mile to his run, he gets up and makes his way to the shouten, following the directions his phone gives him. Half an hour later he is in front of the shop, surprise on his face as he sees the lights still on and the old man sitting behind the counter.
"Hey Kazuhiro, came to pick up something for Rias." Ichigo says as he takes off his sneakers and walks to the counter in his socks.
Picking up a bag from under the counter the old man grins at him as he watches Ichigo walks towards him.
"What's with the grin?" He asks.
"Didn't take you long, did it Ichigo?" The old man says with a chuckle.
Giving the shopkeeper an odd look, Ichigo eyes ask the question. The old man obliges him.
"You're already wrapped around those three pretty ladies pinkies."
"Maybe old man, maybe. Who wouldn't?" He grins as he grabs for the bag, the bell behind him sounds someone else entering the store.
"No one move, just give us your money and no one gets hurt old man!" One of the men commands from under a mask.
The two thieves rush the counter and one makes the mistake of grabbing Ichigo's arm but not keeping an eye on him, just on his partner. That is when the old man watches first hand at what the man who lives with his mistress can do. Not even a second later Ichigo's instincts kick in high gear as he grabs the man's wrist and in a quick twist he frees his arm and spins himself behind his assailant. Kicking him behind a knee, he drops the first man and snaps his wrist in the same motion.
The other robber turns but is too slow as he does; his face meets the flying fist of the now enraged orange-haired youth. Snapping his head back and lowering his own knife at the same time, he never has a chance to block the knee driving into his lower rib cage, nor the elbow to the base of his skull as he bends over. The first robber tries to get to his feet to face the new threat only to have his head violently smashed against the counter with a round-house kick, letting him join his accomplice in unconsciousness.
Neither the old man nor the heavy breathing youth say a word for the first few minutes until the old man snaps out of his daze. Quickly he runs from behind the counter, a phone in his hand, he calls the authorities. As he does, he makes no effort to touch the young man who is still standing over both the thieves, he eyes never leaving them.
"Ichigo. Ichigo, come on son. It's over. Ichigo." He lets out a relieved sigh as the young man's head slowly focuses on him.
However the old man keeps his composure as he sees the Ichigo's eyes begin to fixate on his face. Gently grabbing his arm, Kazuhiro pulls him away from the two criminals and sits Ichigo down on a stool. He then runs behind the counter again and grabs a bottle of water and brings it back to now settling student.
Not answering but following the order, Ichigo opens the bottle and drinks it without stopping once.
"Thanks." Ichigo quietly replies.
Neither says a word until the police arrive and see the two sitting guard over the still unconscious men. Before waking either thief, they are handcuffed before smelling salts are used to rouse the two men up from their forced nap. Soon they are struggling as they try and break free until the new arrival enters and the two men quickly stop. Ichigo even stops as he notices the new addition entering the shouten.
Intimidating doesn't even cover what the man exudes as he enters the store. Standing well over two and half meters and weighing close to two hundred kilos and the massive cords of muscle easily seen under his clothes as he strides inside. His black piercing eyes and his dark grey hair swing from each person in the room before his booming voice sounds out.
Everyone in the room turns to look at the young man still sitting. "Yeah that's me."
"I am Surtr Second, I work for Sirzech Gremory, and I'll be taking you home."
Ichigo looks at the rest of the room and sees almost everyone pale after the man speaks except the old man. Sensing something is up; he looks at Kazuhiro, who gives him a short nod.
"Ah that's okay, I'm fine walking."
"Excuse me Shiba-san, Second-san but we need a statement from both him and Kazuhiro-san as to what happened here tonight."
The tall man turns to the sergeant and gives him a business card. "Shiba-san will be down tomorrow to give his statement and Kazuhiro-san will give you a copy of the surveillance recording as well tonight. Kazuhiro-san if you please."
The old man bows and walks behind the counter where he bends down and a clicking sound is heard. After standing up, he walks from around the back of the counter and to the waiting police officer; handing him a small thumb-drive. The officer gives him a bow and walks out after the other four officers that are dragging the two struggling thieves. As soon as the door closes, Second turns to face Ichigo once again.
"Shiba-san I must insist that you allow me to drive you home. I'm sure you understand." As he does so he lightly touches his head.
Ichigo drops his head then in understanding and sighs in annoyance. "Yeah, yeah. I'm coming. Just let me get my bag and sneakers and we can leave."
"There is a black sedan out front Shiba-san, the doors are unlocked. I just need a moment with Kazuhiro-san."
"Sure. Sorry Kazuhiro if I did any damage, I'll pay for them when I get my stipend from my uncle."
Chuckling at the young man's generosity, Kazuhiro waves him off. "I think after tonight Ichigo, you won't have to worry about your standing with me. Thank you though, but I won't accept anything from you. Now you best get going so those girls don't bite your head off for making them wait."
"SHIT! Hey Second-san I hope you can drive fast." He dashes for his sneakers and out the door he goes.
He doesn't see the magic circle appear in the back room or the three girls that make their way up front.
"Thank you Second-san. I don't know what to say." Rias says as she looks out the window towards the sedan where Ichigo is now waiting.
"If I may Gremory-sama, but I don't think you should worry too much about young Shiba-sama. If anything I feel sorry for whoever takes him on in a fight. I know from what I just saw, he has seen his fair share of battles. He isn't weak and I doubt highly that his head injury is something to worry about either." Kazuhiro says as he speaks to the four devils.
He then gives both Second and Rias a thumb-drive each as well. "You'll see what I mean after you view the footage."
"Rias-sama, I'll take him straight home. It would be best if you are there before then. I'm sure your brother will be by tonight as well to check on him."
"Of course Second-san. Come Akeno, Koneko." Retreating to the back of the store before the red light flashes their departure.
" Kazuhiro do you really believe what you said?"
"His reflexes say trained warrior Second-sama. No one but those who have seen war react the way that young man did. He didn't hesitate and any advantage he had, he used without mercy. I'd be willing to bet he has seen his fair share of battle." The old man says.
"Keep that to yourself then Kazuhiro, Lucifer-sama wants nothing to harm that young man. He is very important to the Gremory Clan and others."
Bowing deeply, the old man replies. "Of course."
As soon as Surtr Second walks out the shouten, Kazuhiro waits for the car to pull away before he snaps his fingers. All the lights shut off and the blinds pull down themselves and the old man morphs into a young blue-haired man with deep grey eyes. Smiling as a magic circle appears under his feet.
'Ichigo Shiba you are truly interesting for a mere human.'
The ride back to the house was silent as Ichigo stares out the window. The events of the night flashing through his head as he tries to figure out what happened back there. He didn't even think when he started the fight and he wasn't even worried about what would have happened to him, all he thought about was protecting the old man. But as he went through his movements, he saw no flaws in his actions and that made him wonder if he had formal training of some kind in his life before.
Knowing his uncle, he had to say yes. People in his world had to know that kidnappers and the like would target family members, so he had to have some kind of training to help him in avoiding capture or even to fight back the way he did tonight.
"Ichigo are you well?" The driver asks as they begin to pull up to the house.
"I am now but I'm not to sure about after." He says as he sees three young women waiting out front.
A small laugh from his grey-haired escort tells Ichigo he agrees with his assessment. Sure enough as soon as he gets out of the passenger side of the sedan, three sets of arms are all over him and the questions begin.
"Ichigo are you alright, you didn't get hurt did you?" Akeno says as she hugs his left arm.
On the right side, Rias pulls his other arm in between her breasts. "Ichigo did they harm you, did you hit your head?"
The young blonde-haired girl snuggles into his stomach as she wraps her arms around his waist. "Oniisan are you okay?"
The laughter from his ride home makes Ichigo look over his shoulder and sends a glare towards him. "I guess that answer that."
Not having a choice, the three girls drag him inside all the while fussing over him until he puts an end to it.
"Enough please. I'm fine and no I didn't get hurt or even get touched. Stop with the worrying, you guys promised me that you would treat me normally. Getting mugged is part of life so please guys stop."
He regrets his words as three sets of puppy-dog eyes meet his eyes and he staggers as a vision floats through his thoughts of a younger brown-haired girl with brown eyes. He doesn't hear the shouts of the girls or Surtr as he falls to the floor and blacks out.
The brunette floats through the hot-springs while ignoring the stares sent her way by both men and women. Her towel wrapping around her perfect body helps keep her covered as she walks towards the private bath she has been invited to for the night. She is here to meet someone who has information on the young man now living with her daughter and her peerage. The voice on the other side of the phone asked to meet at this particular spot at nine pm, saying she had used the place before and it was a good spot for private conversations. The woman was right, almost every spring have thick privacy walls and each have their own private changing room. Leaving little chance to no chance of being walked in on or of being over-heard either.
She finds the room soon enough and turns the unlocked door knob and enters. Glancing around she sees a set of folded up clothes already in a basket. Stepping out into the night, she sees long purple hair tied up in a loose bun on the woman she is here to meet. Walking to the opposite of the spring, she drops her towel and enters the water until she is also sitting on the ledge. Leaning back, the brunette closes her eyes and lets out a content sigh.
"It nice isn't Gremory-sama." The woman speaks up.
"It is but I must say you have me at a disadvantage, you know me but I don't know you." Venelana replies.
The woman with golden eyes sits up and gives her best cat grin as she introduces herself. "Forgive me, I am Yoruichi Shihōin."
The two relax then after formally meeting. The wife of the Gremory Clan head leans back and begins the conversation rather bluntly.
"Is Ichigo Shiba a threat to my daughter? My husband and son assure me he isn't but I am her mother."
Yoruichi stares at the woman hard, not liking the fact anyone would consider her student a threat but she does understand her concern. "How much did they tell you Venelana?"
The frown on the other woman speaks volumes. "Not much other than his family where servants at one time to another Clan but he had lost his memories from an accident."
"Stole his memories is what they did to him Venelana. Ichigo wasn't ever a threat but to a bunch of old fools who saw him as a threat to their power." Yoruichi spits out. "They don't know what they have done, but one day I do hope to see him recover fully."
"And you Yoruichi, why did you agree to see me with this?" The devil asks.
"Because I know who and what you are Venelana. Oh Kisuke and Isshin tried to hide it but I'm still am what I am, a spy and an assassin. Information if you know where and how to find it isn't hard. So now my turn, are you a threat to my Ichigo?"
An eyebrow rises at that statement. "Your Ichigo? I didn't know anyone had a claim on him."
"Ichigo is special to me Venelana; he is the son I never can have. My children will all be girls, sort of a family tradition; no matter what I want I won't be able to give birth to boys. He is closest that I will ever get in having a son. Since the first day I saw him as a baby, I knew he would be special."
"Not everyday a shinigami and a human have a child is it Yoruichi?" Venelana smirks as the flash of surprise shows on the other woman.
"You did your homework I see. Yes he is the son of a shinigami captain and a human. He was a shinigami himself."
Now irritation flashes across the Goddess of Flash's face as she retells the story of the last battle of the Winter War. The decision of Central Forty Six to execute him until her friend came up with an alternative when it became clear that the Gotei Thirteen would openly revolt against any decision that would bring harm against him, his family or his friends. How a father torn by his love for his son and the guilt to keep his other two children safe made the choice no father ever should. How she without anyone knowing placed a tracking kidō on him so she could find him afterwards and then finding out who he was living with. Something's however she didn't reveal, like how she found a way to contact Venelana.
After the story was done, Venelana sits in the water, sipping a saucer of sake that Yoruichi had brought with her earlier.
"I am sorry Yoruichi; I didn't know how important he is to you. I just want to make sure my daughter is safe."
"She'd be safer if he still had his powers but as long as the kidō holds he is blocked from them. No shinigami should be separated from their own soul. Ichigo would never harm Soul Society, at least not then. But if he by some miracle ever recovered his memory, I'm not so sure."
"Exactly what did they do to him Yoruichi? I know his powers are sealed but his memory as well, that I don't understand."
"Without his memories, he can never enter his inner-world, never speak to his zanpakutō, and never be a threat. He surpassed everyone else in the war and that is why they fear him. Because he would never bend his knee to them in servitude, Venelana. Ichigo had only one priority in his life and that was to protect everyone he has ever loved or cared about."
"Then I will do my best to keep him safe for you Yoruichi, on my honor as a member of the Gremory Clan."
"Thank you Venelana."
"There is one question I have to ask and I do hope you don't mind me asking?"
"Was he ever romantically involved with anyone?"
Spitting out her sake she took a sip of, Yoruichi stares at Venelana with a wide-open mouth before she answers. "Ichigo never gave any woman that kind of attention. Even though a few gave it back to him but he never acted on those feelings. Why? Did he or does he shows them now?"
Smiling the devil remarks back. "I think your Kisuke and his guardian have done something to him to change his attitude lately."
"Really? How so."
Giggling the woman leans forward and begins her own tales. Soon Yoruichi is on her third cup and laughing as the woman across from her tells her everything she has seen and been told of since Ichigo arrived at the house.
'Oh Isshin, how you will miss out on teasing your son now that he is showing interest in women.'
AN: Well that is the first chapter of Naberius Heir. I will probably do one more chapter before starting up Destiny's Path. Now I should go over a few things about this story before you guys do your reviews. First is about power levels, I really don't want any complains about it later on because of this reason, shinigami and devils are both considered gods in their own ways. Second, yes Ichigo is not a prude long in this story, simple reason I can't stand him being written as such nor will I write him that way. Yeah I know he does the blush thing in this story but he has a reason which I will write about later so nothing about the future plot will be responded to, sorry guys you gonna have to wait. Now I know you guys might be wondering about when the LN will start and to be honest I'm not sure and I'm not going to write them word for word and I sure as hell ain't going to let Issei have Rias, that is a given right now. Now that's settle, I am going to do the impossible and make this a one on one relationship. I am still going over with future story lines with Okami about if I am going to do Oppai Dragon and those aspects of the story or if I am going to do all original stories with the LN as a guide as usual for me. Also no Fullbringer and the Quincy may or may not be included, that I'm honestly hesitant to write because I already am doing it with WTMW, so who knows? I will take only serious suggestions in regards to this story and then I and Okami will decide later on what we are going to do. This is a filler story lads and lasses, so no updates until both my other stories get their allotment of chapters done and then I will add to this one afterwards. They are my main stories and this is to give me down time as I do work on them. So see you in a few weeks with the second chapter and then we begin 7 yes 7 chapters for Destiny's Path, because I like to even it out. So see ya.